Scientists at the University of California, Berkeley have used the CRISPR gene-editing tool to give fruit flies an evolutionary advantage they’ve never had before. By making just three small changes to a single gene, the team gave the flies the ability to effectively eat poison and store it in their bodies, protecting themselves from predators in the process.
Scientists at MIT and Harvard have discovered two gene editing techniques to fix mutations that cause diseases like cystic fibrosis and Duchenne muscular dystrophy.
Both diseases, and about half all human genetic disorders, are caused by mutations in single letters in the human genome, in which an ‘A’ appears where there should be a ‘B.’
The newly-developed gene editing systems can target the smallest units of our DNA or RNA to undo the mutation that causes cystic fibrosis.
One system edits DNA in the genome itself, while the other targets RNA, which transports genetic messages for making proteins.